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Building Software in a Post-Agile World

At the moment, especially in tech, there appears to be so little time to think. Reacting seems to be the order of the day.

This means people are getting fired. People are getting scared, and those still in a job are rightly worried.

How can we make sense of the tech world and where it’s going?

Things don’t just stop, and as we saw from Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the lights have to stay on even though big changes are happening to the company.

For those who have been pinning their livelihoods on the more ‘ephemeral’ side of software delivery such as Agile coaching or ‘process’ related consultancy – this can be an even scarier time. If you don’t deliver value to the customer directly yourself, you’re likely to come under more scrutiny.

One thing that I’m very proud to say, is that after 25+ years in the business of software development, I still develop software. And what have I learnt? Taking your time to build the right software at a higher quality will lead you to better results.

Acknowledging legacy and technical debt is one thing, focussing on Quality and your organisation’s ability to continuously improve the experience for your customer is another.

So I developed a framework specifically to cut through the noise and clarify what great software delivery is about. I call is it QUEST to make it simple to remember:

  • Quality (is everyone’s responsibility and has the highest priority)
  • Unrestricted (freedom to do what you need to do as a developer)
  • End-User (everything is for the customer)
  • Simplicity (in architecture, design and code)
  • Team (collaboration at its heart – mindful development, pair programming, mob programming)

Simple rules for aligning ourselves to build better software. Each word serves to remind us of the powerful techniques we can use to achieve it. By focusing on quality, having the freedom to do what we need to serve our customers, keeping simplicity in mind and collaborating effectively.